Fuse – Julianna Baggott

*** This is the second book in the Pure series. Please note that it may contain spoilers for the first book. ***

“Lying on a thin coat of snow, she sees gray earth meeting gray sky, and she knows she’s back. The horizon looks clawed, but the claw marks are only three stunted trees. They stand in a row like they’re stapling the ground to the sky. 
She gasps, suddenly, a delayed reaction, as if someone is trying to steal her breath and she’s pulling it back into her throat.”

Following Partridge’s escape, and Lyda’s expulsion, from The Dome, it’s inhabitants aren’t happy. Lyda was sent to bring Partridge back and now that has failed his father has a new plan. A child is taken from the wretches and ‘cleansed’, she is made new and sent back out, with a new message for the outside world. The Dome want Partridge back and they will start taking hostages until he returns. 
Faced with no other option except to watch his father kill people, Partridge returns to the Dome, hoping to take over from within, but that is not what his father’s plan is. Partridge is in trouble and whilst Pressia, Bradwell and El Capitan can’t begin to realise what is going on in The Dome, they have their own plan to carry out. 

***
Ok so, Fuse is the second in this series, following on from Pure which I loved! You are thrown straight back into the story very soon after the events of the first book and I loved that there was barely a breath, but we were reminded of some of the important things from Pure. 
The story is terrifying. It’s a hundred times worse now you know the cause of the Detentions and what’s going on in The Dome, but really you know nothing as it soon transpires. The Dome is progressing faster than anyone imagined, their technology is mind bowing once you are introduced to it and it makes the whole story even scarier. The things going on with Pressia, Bradwell and El Capitan are incredible too and I kinda liked that their story was almost completely separate from Partridges and Lyda’s, whose stories separate again later in the book. The three of them are finding more out about the Seven, the elite group who were part of ‘The Best and the Brightest’ and who watched as one of the Seven, Partridge’s father, destroyed the world. They are on the cusp of finding out big things about The Before, Partridge’s father and how they can save the wretches and overthrow the dome. There’s another brand of the story which is all about Partridge and Lyda’s romance which I adored and it helped me want to know even more about Partridge returning to the Dome and how that would effect him. 
The characters were just as incredible as they were in the first book and even though there are more in this story than the first not one of them felt insignificant. Wilda, Iralene, Berkley, Mother Hestra, Weed, Hastings, these are among a few of the characters we are introduced to or informed more about. Each one of them had their own stories, had their own emotions and added something to the world of Fuse. It was amazing. 
There is one reason and one reason only that this book is not a five star book for me. The stereotyping and the sexism. I’m really sorry but it bugged the hell out of me and at one point I wanted to scream at the book. The Mothers are a group of women who were at home with their children at the time of the detonations, there wasn’t a single guy at home with his kids, really? They have an in-depth hatred of men, calling them Deaths and fighting any man they meet, or emasculating them in various ways, though not actually cutting their bits off – that would be weird. There was one point in the book where this hatred got so bad I wanted to rip the pages out. I’m a feminist, but I’m one thats all for equality, not for women ruling everything like The Mothers are. Then there was the basement boys… teenagers at the time of the detonations because they were in their basements playing video games and now have fusings of the console controllers? Seriously? Its not just boys who play video games and its not all boys do! that bugged me a lot too. I liked that Lyda got stronger in Fuse and became more kick-ass than she was in Pure, she stuck up for herself and looked after herself but didn’t conform to the craziness of The Mothers’. This might seem like a stupid bug-bear but seriously, it really got to me whilst I was reading.
Other than that though this series is high up on my ‘must read again’ list and I will be grabbing the third book, Burn, as soon as its available later in the year. 
Fuse will be released on February 14h by Headline. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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  • I totally agree with you about the whole sexism thing!

  • I didn’t think the Mothers were written in such a way that it was endorsing their behaviour. The fact that they are completely irrational in their treatment of men makes you really worry for the other characters. I just thought “OMG you are nutcases” not that they were giving women a bad name. Because there are other female characters that act in a decent manner. If all the female characters were portrayed in a certain way I might call the book sexist but I didn’t see it that way.

  • I see what you’re saying Ellie but I just didn’t like it and thought they were trying to inflict the same way of thinking onto Lyda a lot of the time, with the way they kept her and partridge apart and the way they talked about him later on, if you get what I mean… I just really hated them because of it and thought it was a bit excessive, that was my one and only negative of the book though x